Kitchen Korner: Hot drinks for cool weather

kitchenkorner_caption3_photo-by-zach-nellThe best things to go with cold weather are, of course, hot drinks. And what better way to save money than to learn how to make some of the most popular drinks at home, where you can bypass the four-dollar-a-drink price tag that comes with the territory of coffee shops. Here are three hot drinks that you can make in under five minutes each, and will keep you feeling warm all day long.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

A twist on a childhood favorite, this hot cocoa is warm, and a bit spicy, lending to an overall cozy flavor.

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk, any kind will do

3 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tsp. white sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

cloves if you have them

Optional: Whipped cream

Instructions:

Step 1: Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until room temperature. Be careful not to overheat the milk, as it will burn easily.

Step 2: Stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warmed milk until dissolved.

Step 3: Add vanilla, cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg, and cloves to the mixture, stir.

Step 4: Heat another 5 minutes on medium, stirring occasionally.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and more nutmeg.

Serves 2.

London Fog

This drink, a famous cold-weather drink available at most cafes, is easy to make, and pretty cheap. It also keeps well in a thermos, and tastes sweet without being overly sweetened.

Ingredients:

1 cup strongly-brewed earl grey tea (any kind will do)

1/2 cup steamed milk

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

Step 1: Brew earl grey tea and steep for four minutes, or longer if you prefer stronger tea.

Step 2: While the tea is steeping, steam milk by putting milk into a container and stirring vigorously. When milk is well and frothed microwave for roughly thirty seconds.

Step 3: Remove tea bag.

Step 4: Stir in remaining ingredients until blended.

Serves one.

Apple Cider

This drink is the very taste of fall itself, reminiscent of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and warm fireplaces. It can also be chilled after cooking, if you’re the type of person to prefer cold apple cider.

Ingredients:

4 cups apple juice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions:

Step 1: In a small pot heat the apple juice and spices. Stir often while the mixture is heating so the spices will blend into the juice.

Step 2: Once hot, pour into mugs.

Serves two.

**********

RECIPE CARD

Spiced Hot Chocolate:

2 c. milk, any kind will do

3 tsp. each unsweetened cocoa powder and white sugar

1/4 tsp. each vanilla extract, cinnamon, chili powder and ground nutmeg

Optional: Whipped cream

Instructions:

Step 1: Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until room temperature.

Step 2: Stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warmed milk until dissolved.

Step 3: Add vanilla, cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg and cloves to the mixture, stir.

Step 4: Heat another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and more nutmeg.

Yield: 16 oz mixture.

London Fog:

1 c. strongly-brewed earl grey tea

1/2 c. steamed milk

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

Step 1: Brew earl grey tea and steep for 4 minutes. Remove bag when done.

Step 2: Steam milk.

Step 3: Stir in remaining ingredients.

Yield: 12 oz mixture

Apple Cider

4 c. apple juice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions:

Step 1: Heat the apple juice and spices. Stir often

Step 2: Pour into mugs when done

Yield: 32 oz mixture

Photos by Zach Nell
Photos by Zach Nell